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The ascent from Amygdaleza to Agios Georgios Keramidiou was one of the prettiest hikes I’ve done on Mount Parnitha and one I would happily repeat in the future. It is not particularly challenging or long but offers beautiful scenery, plenty of shade and two refreshing springs along the way.
It was especially beautiful during the spring time when the meadows and forest bed along the trail burst with all sorts of colorful wild flowers. However, foggy mushroom-filled autumn day or snowy winter afternoon could be as charming!
By car, it only takes around half an hour to reach Amygdaleza from the center of Athens. But with little bit of creativity and a lot of patience this trip can be done by public transport as well.
We took the green metro line from Omonia to Nea Ionia. Here we switched to bus no. 724. We got off at Mesonychiou and waited for the 727 bus going to Amygdaleza. We finally got off at 6 Mesonychiou near Agia Paraskevi Monastery.
However, there are multiple other ways to get to Agia Paraskevi Monastery in Amygdaleza depending on your place of residence in Athens. Especially if living in northern suburbs, there may be shorter and easier way. The only unavoidable part is taking the bus no. 727 to Amygdaleza, there is no other bus going this far up.
If you decide to hike all the way to Fyli as we did, just take the bus no. 723 from the central square of the village. It’ll take you all the way to Ano Liosia where you can change for the suburban railway or bus no. B12 heading towards Attika Station.
All the main trails in this section of Mount Parnitha were marked well by signs painted on rocks and trees and signposts at the main crossroads. However, I would still recommend bringing a printed map as well.
There are many paths to choose from at this part of the mountain and having a map gave us the opportunity to modify the length of the hike based on our energy level and stamina.
I’m usually a huge fan of Anavasi hiking maps but for Parnitha I prefer the map of Mount Parnitha from Terrain. It includes distances for each section of the trail which makes the planning part of every hike much easier and more precise.
There are no mountain huts at the section of Mount Parnitha so make sure to bring enough snack for the whole day. No need to carry too much water, though, we found a spring both at Platani and at Agios Georgios Church.
Most of the trail passes through a forest but it is not thick enough to protect you from the strong Greek sun. Make sure to bring sunblock and hut especially during the warmer season. We hiked to Agios Georgios at the beginning of May and it was already quite hot with plenty of sunshine.
From the bus stop (6 Mesonychiou) we took a street called Tsourapa starting at a charming little church of unknown (to me) name. We followed the street all the way to its end climbing steadily uphill among small yards and family houses.
At the end of the street, we turned right and continued uphill until we reached a small quarry. We circled the quarry from the right, passing few scary-looking but very lazy dogs until we reached the end of the road. From here, a narrow rocky trail marked by red paint dives into the forest.
For the next one and a half kilometers, the trail ascends steadily on the right side of the Platanaki creek through sweet-scented pine forest. It is a tiring climb but the pretty surroundings and plenty of photo breaks helped us to get through it in no time.
Near Platani, the pine forest suddenly disappears and is replaced by a lush, bright green plane tree grove. The trail crosses a small creek, mostly dry at the beginning of May, and climbs up to the Platani spring on the opposite side of the gorge. At the spring, water runs out from underneath one of the old plane trees creating a picturesque scene perfect for a short break.
Above Platani spring the trail continues its steep climb for another five hundred meters or so. It is marked quite madly by purple paint on every available surface making it impossible to get lost. At its upper section, you can get few glimpses of the highest summit of Mount Parnitha and Parnitha’s infamous casino.
But soon enough the surface flattens and hiking becomes easy and enjoyable again. This was one of my favorite parts of the hike thanks to the abundance of wildflowers of all sorts lining the trail.
After about one and half kilometers from Platani spring we reached a dirt road. Right at the crossroads, another trail heads towards north (to your right) loosely following the road. It is marked well by yellow / orange triangle signs on the trees.
The first couple hundred meters of the trail were blocked by recently fallen trees and after few failed attempts to climb over them, we had to retrieve back to the road. But soon enough we were able to return to our path continuing through beautiful pine forest.
After another kilometer, we passed the dirt road one more time on a large crossroad with signs for Kyprianos Monastery and Tamilthi. From here, the trail continues toward the Agios Georgios Chapel on the right side of the road with beautiful views opening up towards the Kyra Peak and Agios Georgios Gorge.
Agios Georgios Keramidiou is one of the prettiest chapels we come across during our wanderings on Mount Parnitha. It’s shaded yard with wooden picnic tables, cool spring and beautiful mountain views make it the perfect spot for a lunch break in the company of just a few fellow hikers.
There are multiple options to return back to civilization from Agios Georgios Chapel. To get back to Amygdaleza you can either return the same way as you come or descend through the Agios Georgios Gorge. The 5 kilometers long path starts right at the spring and is marked by blue signs.
Other option for those coming by public transport is to descend down to Fyli neighborhood to the west. The shortest trail to Fyli has around 6 kilometers and follows orange triangles and signs for Kyprianou Monastery. To find it, return the some way as you come keeping your eyes peeled for Kyprianou Monastery signs at the crossroads.
We were in an adventurous mood and decided to explore the hills around the Koromilia summit before heading down to Fyli. From Agios Georgios Chapel we continued north towards the Kyra saddle and later followed the signs and blue markings for Pan’s Cave.
After about a kilometer of walking across a barren plateau with beautiful views of Arma we reached another dirt road. From here we followed blue paint and signs for Fyli all the way down to the village. As much as I enjoyed the views and varied landscapes, I wouldn’t recommend this section of the hike for hot days, as there is very little shade!
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